How to establish strong supplier relationships


Strong supplier relationships are important if you want your business to be successful.  There are various ways in which you can strengthen your working relationships that benefit both parties. This may include supplying sales information so suppliers can help you drive your business through new product ranges and product launches. Monthly meetings will help you provide information to your supplier so products and services can be improved. Here we look at some key tips to establish strong supplier relationships.

Ensuring both parties are committed to the relationships

You need your suppliers to be committed to your business goals. For example the new GBS guidelines have seen many suppliers ensure their products are now compliant which in turn helps businesses meet their goals and objectives. Suppliers are there to help support their customers and full commitment will be essential to help support with quality, new innovations, customer demand and service delivery. The relationship is also 2 ways with the supplier expecting the same commitment in return. Normally when terms are agreed, expectations from the supplier will be stipulated such as minimum drops etc.

Have suppliers help you form sales strategies

When supplier’s products or services form a key part of your service then having suppliers help in forming strategies is advisable. Not only does this strengthen relationships but it will help you get the best out of the products but it will also help maximise sales and customer satisfaction. Remember your suppliers want you to sell more of their product so as they are the experts; why not get their full support in maximising its sales.

Build strong relationships that last

Successful supplier management is about building strong and lasting relationships not short term gains and cost savings. Moving to different suppliers frequently will only incur more costs in the long term.

strong supplier relationships

Gain a thorough understanding of your suppliers business

Like you your suppliers are there to make money. They know that your success will ultimately spur on their own success. It is not always about them reducing costs but also about driving innovation, competitive edge and improving products to more competitive within the market. By understanding their business too, you will strengthen your supplier relationship ensuring that both businesses benefit.

Have a win-win strategy

Strong supplier relationships dictate that all negotiations are completed in good faith. Ensure that negations enable both parties to benefit from the partnership. Strong arm negotiations will only be short-term and could see either party walk away from the partnership in the future.

Agree Value

Supplier management is not just about obtaining the lowest price. Consider value over price. This may involve products costing more because the quality is better. Again it focuses on having a strong supplier relationships so organisational goals for both parties are fully understood. As a business owner, you should be willing to pay more for a better quality product.

Keep lines of communication open

Set up regular meetings with your suppliers to ensure that business objectives and performance are discussed. Sales strategies can then be planned with the full support of your suppliers. Providing sales information can also help your suppliers support your support your business through


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